Teaching History

Cross-Curricular Learning

We specialise in bringing history to life. This includes using stories from our historic places to provide cross-curricular learning opportunities for all Key Stages. 

Our learning resources contain a range of activities designed to provide inspiration for teaching and learning across the curriculum. 

This guide is intended to help anyone looking to inspire their learners through cross-curricular activities. We’ve organised activities by subject and labelled each one with target Key Stages to help you find what's most useful for you and your learners. 

 

Featured Resource - Outdoor Learning Kit

Gardens and landscapes are a truly cross-curricular learning environment. Throughout the centuries, the great outdoors has inspired poets, artists, writers and scientists alike.

Explore the unique stories of the gardens in our care and follow in the footsteps of the people who lived and worked in them. Whether at an English Heritage site near you, in the green spaces at your school, or in your own back garden, this Outdoor Learning Kit is packed with creative ideas to take your teaching and learning outdoors.

Download the Kit (7.9 MB)

English

A small group of students sitting on a grass bank in front of a castle keep writing on clipboards

Our sites have inspired a whole host of myths, legends and folklore, in some cases for thousands of years. From the legendary tale of King Arthur to the dark and mysterious Dracula, writers and storytellers have used our places in a variety of ways. 

Use examples from our historic places to inspire your creative writing and encourage your learners to consider how they can tell stories in creative and imaginative ways. 

Maths

Two students measuring the circumference of a tree

Maths is all around us in our everyday lives and the same was true of people in the past. From the use of geometry to determine the design and proportion of some of our most impressive castle keeps, to the careful financial records that give us an insight into the cost of food, clothing and other essentials at our historical sites. 

Inspire your learners with activities related to the building of Stonehenge, balancing Battle Abbey’s finances, calculating the unique geometry of Orford Castle, and creating their own patterns in their garden or local park.

Science

Two students undertaking a science experiment

Our historic places, and the collections they hold, offer many opportunities for scientific exploration. 

There’s a lot to discover across our sites – from ornamental gardens and building conservation to wartime technology. Use our spotter sheets to explore outside spaces at our sites, or within your local area, and create your own mini garden at home. Undertake a series of experiments to uncover how science could save and protect fragile artwork for future generations, and find out more about the use of radar during the Second World War.

Geography

A small group of students studying a map

Why do forts guard our coastline and why was Beeston Castle built on a rocky crag? Understanding the locations of our historic places and the landscapes they sit within tells us a lot about life in the past. Consider the features of the landscape around different sites to uncover their stories. 

Explore dramatic hilltops, valleys and coastlines to find out how medieval lords and monastic communities decided where to build their castles and abbeys.

Design & Technology

A group of students building a mini prehistoric roundhouse

Explore the design features of our historic places, and use them to help your learners understand past technologies, as well as designing and building their own structures. 

Investigate a variety of bridge designs and find out hear from experts about how the new footbridge at Tintagel Castle was designed and constructed. Build your own prehistoric roundhouse, like the reconstruction at Beeston Castle, and uncover the special features of Tudor device forts like Deal Castle. Use Robert Adam’s neoclassical designs to inspire your own interiors and find out more about Art Deco design at Eltham Palace.

Art & Design

Students in aprons taking part in an art activity

Creating their own art and design projects is a great way to introduce learners to life in the past. Use our historic places and their collections to help inspire your learners' artwork. 

Uncover the splendour of illuminated manuscripts and the bold, striking colours of medieval heraldry. Investigate the intricate and fragile graffiti left behind by cell block prisoners at Richmond Castle, and use it to inspire your own designs. Discover the role of a reconstruction artist and encourage your learners to imagine what life might have been like in the south of England during the Norman Conquest. 

Drama

A group of students acting the role of a gunner pretending to fire a cannon

Step into history by taking part in one of our role play activities. Encourage your learners to imagine the sights, sounds and smells of life in the past and help them understand decisions made and actions taken at pivotal moments in England's story.

Immerse your learners in medieval castle life by meeting the inhabitants of Orford Castle and role-playing a grand feast. Place them in the middle of the action at the Battle of Hastings and consider differing opinions on who should become king of England. Imagine a visit to the bath house at Wroxeter Roman City and stand by your gun as you learn about the duties of a Tudor gunner. 

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